Having found an extraordinary steeply sloping plot in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Dorset, the client approached us to design a new home to replace the existing house, which was small and run down.


Situated high above Charmouth, the plot enjoys extensive views of the Jurassic coast and back towards Lyme Regis. The brief required a sensitive intervention to minimize the new house’s visual impact and a way to overcome the significant landslide risk.


Our design response dis-aggregates the normal bulk of a house into a 170 m2 cluster of rooms that blend into the landscape. This reduces its visual impact from the coast, helping with planning permission.


The landslide risk is effectively mitigated by using a lightweight timber frame anchored to the natural stone base, thus avoiding disruptive and expensive foundation cutting.


Flooded with daylight, the central circulation zone opens up to east and west as one descends to the living area, from where breath-taking views south can be enjoyed.


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Project credits


  • Associate: Michael Henriksen
  • Architectural Assistant: Ella Wright
  • Architectural Assistant: Catherine Blaney
  • Architectural Assistant: Selena Dong
  • Visualiser: David Deroo


  • Structural: AKS Ward
  • Landscape: Hugo Bugg Landscape
  • Project Management: HCM Consultancy

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